Ahhh Lasagna! The whole house smells good after you make one of those…
Earlier this year, when I was plagued by seasonal allergies, I had been experimenting with a gluten free diet, at the time, I made some Lasagna using rice pasta, you could not even tell the difference!But I was ready for something new, so when I picked up some fantastic looking eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms, at the farmers market and walked past various types of squash, including spaghetti squash, (not ready for that one yet), inspiration hit me, a light came on and I heard a voice. Nonono no, not quite, but I said to myself, “what happens, if I just plain and simply leave out the pasta completely, replace it with thin slivers of veggie instead?” The result is not only gluten free, it is also almost Paleo 😉 (There is cheese, milk and potato starch in it, sorry folks) BUT it’s 100% grain free.
For a vegetarian version, replace the meat with diced zucchini, eggplant and shredded carrot. Adjusting the skillet time accordingly.
First I made a meat sauce, using homemade tomato sauce, ground bison and mushrooms…
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 small zucchini
- olive oil
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups homemade tomato sauce (or good quality store bought)
- 8 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 lb ground meat (I used bison, but beef or turkey would work as well)
- 1 med onion, diced finely
- oregano and basil(dry or fresh)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp potato starch/flour
- 2 1/2 c milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Using a mandolin slicer, slice eggplant and zucchini into lengthwise thin ribbons (this is what you will be using instead of the pasta sheets). Set aside
- In a large skillet, heat a tbsp olive oil, add onion and cook over medium until softened, not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, cover and cook on medium low until the mushrooms are starting to soften.
- Then add meat to skillet and cook, breaking up pieces with a fork until not pink anymore.
- Add tomato sauce and oregano and basil (depending on the sauce you choose, you might need less or more, suggestion for dried spices is 1 tsp oregano and about a tbsp basil), stir until mixed well and heated through. Set aside
- To make the Béchamel Sauce: Heat 2 tbsp butter in a medium sauce pan over medium low until melted, add in 2 tbsp potato starch, stir until incorporated
- Whisk in milk and salt, and stirring continuously, bring sauce to a simmer (don’t turn up the heat, this should be done slowly), and simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened. (Use when still warm/hot)
- Assembling the Lasagna: Using either one 9×13″ glass dish or several smaller ones ( I like to use dishes that are 2-4 servings and freeze several, for a quick week night dinner or lunch) start by spreading some meat sauce over the bottom of the dish, then a layer of eggplant or zucchini, followed by 3/4 cup of Béchamel sauce, a handful of mozzarella, another layer of vegetables (either zucchini or eggplant, I kept doing one layer zucchini, one layer eggplant, but you could mix and match), repeating the meat sauce and Béchamel/cheese layers, finishing with a layer of Béchamel and the rest of the mozzarella.
- Store in the fridge until ready to bake for dinner or bake right away: Preheat oven to 350F, bake in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and the eggplant and zucchini are soft, when pierced with a knife. (Adjust baking time, if not storing in the fridge first)
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